All Conversions Are Not Created Equal: 3 Steps to Optimize on Value

By Seth Berman, Blue Shield of California

In the exploding space of “online2offline” commerce, post-click marketing takes on special significance, and increased complexity, as compared to conversion in a strictly ecommerce environment. In this O2O world, a conversion can take many possible forms including phone calls, registrations, lead form submits, whitepaper downloads, local merchant purchases and, of course, online sales.

Here are three steps to optimizing your post-click conversions based on the value of your leads.

Know the value of your conversions

If a visitor to your landing page has the option of calling your sales team, submitting a lead form, or putting an item in her shopping cart, you need to know how much each of those actions is worth to your company. Here’s a quick illustration.

Calls: 20% sales conversion x $200 average revenue = $40 value
Lead Forms: 10% sales conversion x $200 average revenue = $20 value
Shopping Carts: 15% sales conversion x $150 average revenue = $22.50 value

In this example, a phone call is by far the most valuable action a visitor to your landing page could take. It could be that your sales team is not only effective at up-selling when they handle a phone call, but also that it’s easier to convert inbound calls to sales than it is to convert lead forms. Whatever the conversion paths are for you, it’s critical that you know the value of each.

Know your audience’s preferences

It’s great to know the value of a conversion, but what if only a fraction of your audience would pick up the phone and call you? We’ve tested removing lead forms from landing pages all together, and what usually happens is that we lose all the lead form submits and get only a few more calls. The lesson here is that what might seem to be best for your business is not always in line with your buyers’ preferences, so you’ll want to take the additional step of weighting the value of conversions using the preferences of your audience.

Calls: $40 value x 20% prefer = $8 weighted value
Lead Forms: $20 value x 30% prefer = $6 weighted value
Shopping Carts: $22.50 value x 50% prefer = $11.25 weighted value

Prioritize calls to action

Now that you know the value of your conversions and the preferences of your audience, you can prioritize your calls to action. In our example here, we could prioritize our calls to action to drive visitors to add items to their shopping carts while making phone calls a secondary call to action and lead forms a tertiary call to action.

Given the increasing complexity in shopping and buying processes across industries, our jobs as post-click marketers are becoming more complex as well. Knowing the value of your conversions, knowing your audience’s preferences, and prioritizing calls to action accordingly are three steps you can take now to begin addressing the wave of O2O commerce.

About the Author

Seth BermanSeth Berman is Director of Marketing at Blue Shield of California where he is accountable for online marketing, lead generation, and database marketing. Seth and his team have been recognized with awards in marketing excellence by ad:tech, Ad Age, and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). In addition, Seth has judged a number of digital awards competitions and his speaking credits include ad:tech, LeadsCon, AppNation, Direct Marketing Association of Northern California, Silicon Valley American Marketing Association, and more. A native of the Boston area, Seth has an MBA from Duke University and lives in San Francisco.

2 thoughts on “All Conversions Are Not Created Equal: 3 Steps to Optimize on Value

  1. I agree, you are right about prioritizing the CTA based on customer preference and revenue values. Additionally, providing all three options to give them “choice” for which is right for them is key to maximizing the value of site/page visit.

    There’s also blur happening with “offline” since the smart mobile phone rising in popularity. In the consumer tech space I’m seeing a good portion of the online visitors take advantage of “send this to my mobile” options for easier in-store shopping. I would guess this trend will increase overtime.

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